Norwich City boss Chris Hughton cuts a frustrated figure after Stoke Premier League loss
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
A frustrated Chris Hughton revealed his Norwich City players had failed to heed his half-time warning after slipping to a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Stoke.
Charlie Adam struck within a minute of the restart after the Canaries were unable to subdue Peter Crouch's aerial threat, which allowed the former Liverpool midfielder a free run to rifle past Mark Bunn.
Norwich remain six points clear of third-from-bottom Wigan following a lacklustre display in the Potteries after the Latics conceded a stoppage time equaliser to draw 2-2 at home to Tottenham. Wigan have four league games left - one more than the Canaries - who now welcome Aston Villa to Carrow Road next weekend in what will inevitably be another key match-up in the survival battle.
Hughton insisted he felt his side had coped with the direct threat of Stoke in the first period, but the Norwich boss reiterated at the interval there was a fresh bombardment to come.
'It was so disappointing to concede in the manner we did. I felt today we were up against a Stoke side at their most direct,' said Hughton. 'That is how they are and you have to be able to cope with it. I felt we did in the first half. When we had our moments to drive from midfield and keep possession we didn't. You hope that in the second half as the game opens up you can capitalise on that. We spoke about it at half-time that if anything they might get more direct.
'To concede that goal so early in the second half really hurt us. After containing them for that period of time we felt we could work our way into the game. Unfortunately the timing of the goal really hurt us. We didn't create enough chances. They defended well and we didn't make the most of our opportunities or the positions we were able to get in. We had some good crossing positions in and around their box and we did not make the most of it. There are the two sides of the game and you need to be strong and physical but create opportunities.'